Don Toadlioni: Fairy Frog-father
Rigging and Animation in Maya and Unity
Don Toadlioni was created for a VR story experience, where you enter as a suitor of the beautiful Principessa, and must serenade her to win her love. Don Toadlioni is a statue in her garden that magically comes to life, and helps you win love.
As the main catalyst for the story beats, he had to be extremely expressive to help the guest make sense of what was happening. For example, when a love rival appears, the guest can tell that the person is not on their side because Don Toadlioni dramatically shakes his head in dismay.
Here is a clip from the actual experience showing the appearance of the love rival and Don Toadlioni’s reaction.
The rig and animation used to create this lively character is shown below.
Space Bar: Procedural Tentacle Animation
Scripting Rig/Animations in Python and MEL
I scripted the rig and animation for the tentacle of one of the monsters in the game. Because of the fluid nature of the tentacle, I needed many bones that would behave in a similar way, and could easily do it with a script.
The tentacle monster is shown in-game below.
Space Bar: Blendshape Animation
For this project, one of the players would be able to squirt soda from their hands. We envisioned having two fish-like creatures for hands, and when the controller’s trigger was squeezed, the mouth would open and the soda would come out.
To accomplish this, since the animation had to be controlled by the trigger button value, I used Blendshapes to tween from the relaxed pose to the being-squeezed pose.
You can see the amusing perspective of having these fish-creatures for hands in VR from the video below:
Dragons: Walking and “Flying”
This project was done to learn the entire art pipeline for making a low poly Unity game. The task was to create a dragon model with two animations. The entire project was done in a week.
My concept was a dragon with human legs in heels, so I created a ‘strutting’ walk cycle and a “flying” animation.
For the flying animation, I wanted to emphasize the leg movements rather than the wings, and created something of a swimming-in-the-air movement in the end.
This was the rig I did in Maya. The wings were too thin and weight-painting was wrong, but it was sufficiently good for the week I was given to complete it.
As this project was only a week-long, given more time, I would have cleaned up the walk cycle more as the feet do not stay in the same position and it is rather jerky.
Walk cycles with Kayla
For my class on technical animation, we had to experiment with keyframing methods. I referred to the Animator’s Survival Handbook on doing walk cycles and created three of these. As it was a short assignment, the animations are very rough, and need polishing.